Pre-Orientation Programs

Why wait until Orientation to meet fellow Bulldogs? Pre-Orientation Programs at Butler University offer new first-year and transfer students a chance to connect with peers, faculty, and staff around a specialized topic before general Orientation and their first semester. You can serve within the community, hone your leadership skills, prepare for college life, or learn what goes into planning a major sporting event. Regardless of which you choose, start connecting with other Butler students early!

Students can fill out an application for Ambassadors of Change, Dawg Days,  Into the City,  and Welcome to Sports Town and rank the four  programs for which they would like to apply.  You are welcome to apply to one program or up to all four of the Pre-Orientation Programs. Please indicate your Pre-Orientation Program application preference by selecting first through fourth place on the application.

Applications close on June 11, 2023 at 11:00 PM Eastern Standard.

Applicants will be notified of their application status late June / early July, 2023.

New students who will be living on campus for the 2023- 2024 academic year will move into their university-assigned residence hall room on the first day of their Pre-Orientation Program.

For more details including dates and costs for each program, please click on the drop-down bars below.

For questions and concerns, please contact the Office of New Student and Family Programs at 317-940-8648 during office hours of 9:00 AM–5:00 PM EST, or at

Pre-Orientation Program Descriptions

Ambassadors of Change is a week-long program that focuses on service and leadership. Participants will engage in daily service projects, discuss social issues with classmates and community members, and work on small group projects. Fun evening activities round out each day, providing plenty of opportunities to get to know classmates and the city of Indianapolis!

What past participants have said:

  • “I loved every moment of Ambassadors of Change. My most favorite experience was when all of us went to the Paramount School. It was really eye-opening and impactful to watch everyone working together as a team.”
  • “My most meaningful moment of this program was helping at Gleaners which greatly increased their productivity for the day by sorting 7,000+ pounds of food that would have taken longer without Ambassadors of Change’s help. Also, helping the lone employee of Indy Urban Acres was very meaningful because the work we did wouldn’t have been completed in a day with just the one employee.”
  • “Ambassadors of Change taught me not only how to get involved in the community, but also how to step up as a leader and do what needs to be done. It taught me how to be more open about who I am and my experiences which I can definitely use in the future as a way help others and even become more of a leader and an active citizen.”

Program Dates: Monday, August 14 – Saturday, August 19, 2023
Participant Fee: $300

*Participant fee waiver(s) may be available for eligible participants in this program

Indianapolis, your new “home away from home,” is an award-winning city in some surprising ways:

  • America’s Next Great Food Cities (Food & Wine, 2022)
  • The World’s Greatest Places of 2021 (Time)
  • Best Places to Go in 2021 (Conde Nast Traveler’s)
  • Best Children’s Museum in the Country (USA Today, 2021)
  • #5 Best US City to Start Your Career (LinkedIn, 2020)

Join us as we venture “Into the City” to explore this exciting and vibrant metropolis surrounding Butler’s campus. Connect with fellow students, young alums, and seasoned leaders while experiencing some of Indy’s quintessential sights, sounds, and tastes. Envision where your personal passions and academic interests can be put into action on campus, in the city, and beyond–all while building your valuable academic and career network before you even step into your first class at Butler!

Here’s what past participants said about their experience:

  • “I’m so happy I did Into The City. I was hesitant at first since I didn’t know anyone, but once I got into the program, I realized everyone was just as nervous as I was. This was such a great program to get adjusted to Indianapolis and make friends before Orientation started! I felt ahead of the game knowing I had a few friends and could navigate my way around the city before classes began.”
  • “Into the City directly impacted my transition to Butler in such an amazing way. It allowed me to adjust to a new school and environment and make so many friends right away. I still talk to most of the people I did the program with, and seeing friendly faces around campus always brightens my day. My roommate and I did Into the City together which was so much fun because we got to spend a ton of time together and learn more about each other’s likes and dislikes and living styles in general which were all good to know for the rest of the year.”
  • “Throughout the program, I learned the power of starting a conversation, because I made some of the best, unexpected friendships. I recommend this program to every incoming freshman to start meeting your fellow classmates early, eat amazing food around Indy, and be surrounded by supportive people from the CaPS office!”
  • “Into the City was the first stepping stone into why I believe I had a great time at Butler University. It was where I met some of my best friends. My core group from this program stayed tight all 4 years and we ended up living together as seniors…. Orientation keeps you busy enough to not miss home the first week, but as the events subsided, I still felt comfortable because I had explored the area with this program, and I had some solid friends with me. I think if I hadn’t done this program, I would have had a much more difficult transition.”

Program Dates: Wednesday, August 16 – Friday, August 18, 2023

Participant Fee: $300 

*Participant fee waiver(s) may be available for eligible participants in this program

Welcome to Sports Town! explores the tremendous sports city of Indianapolis. From learning about mega-events like the Indianapolis 500, NCAA Final Four®, and the Super Bowl to the operations of our local teams and organizations here in Indy, Welcome to Sports Town! gives behind-the-scenes access to the people and places that make Indy such a great sports town.

We will be meeting with key members of sports associations and related organizations, visiting venues, and considering the impact of the sports industry on the region. Welcome to Sports Town is a three-day program and includes 4–5 returning participants who serve as sophomore-level mentors.

What past participants have said:

  • “I want to thank you for helping to make my transition to college easy and fun. I am now at ease. I feel as though I have a great group of friends and I am one step ahead of the game.”
  • “Participation opened my eyes to a career I had never imagined but now I know it encompasses many of my strengths and passions.”
  • “I already feel at home because of the early days.  I know my campus, I know some faculty, I know my city and I made friends!”

Program Dates: Wednesday, August 16 – Friday, August 18, 2023

Participant Fee: $350

*Participant fee waiver(s) may be available for eligible participants in these programs.

Dawg Days 2022 collage graphic. Blue background with Dawg Days 2022 in center. Eight pictures arranged around the text. Pictures include group shots of students, the stone bulldog statue, Butler Blue live mascot, and two welcome signs.
Photos from Dawg Days 2022!

Dawg Days is a 4-day program filled with exciting and engaging opportunities to build community with a diverse collection of students! Students who identify as people of color, LGBTQIA+, disabled, and/or religious minorities often face different challenges than their peers with identities in the majority on campus, therefore, Dawg Days exists to support and prepare underrepresented students to have a successful and sustainable transition to Butler.

Hosted by the Efroymson Diversity Center and led by a diverse group of student mentors, this program provides historically marginalized and/or underrepresented students with an enriching opportunity to maximize belonging at Butler University through intentional mentorship, access to campus resources, identity development, social engagement, and community building. 

Program participants can expect to attend outings around Indianapolis, learn about helpful resources for success at Butler, participate in games/fun activities, dialogue about different cultures, gain support from intentional mentors, and much more!

See testimonials from previous Dawg Days participants: 

  • “I met so many people in such a short time that I believe I’ve formed deep bonds with. I also came to call the DC my second home on campus.”
  •  “Participating in this program was the best thing I’ve done while attending Butler. The impact of the experience on me will last forever. I’ve made diverse, lasting friendships, discovered numerous opportunities, received advice that saved me from negative situations, both academically and personally, and so many other positive attributes that shaped me into the successful student I am in my second year.” 
  • “I made lots of friends, found so many resources, and met some amazing people. I am glad I signed up and made it to the program, and got this opportunity to meet people I could relate to.”
  •  “This program helped me make friends with individuals that I am still friends with, and it has honestly helped mold me into the young woman I am now at this point of my college career. I found a safe haven at Butler—the Diversity Center.” 

Program Dates: Wednesday, August 16 – Saturday, August 19, 2023

Participant Fee: $100

*Participant fee waiver(s) may be available for eligible participants in this program